SHOW them. Show them. Show them the way to go home. They’re tired and they want to go to bed. Cos they’re only half a football team compared to the boys in Red. Oh! Show them…
Not quite as straightforward as that. On 42 minutes, Ben Johnson tells me that he would hook Philippe Coutinho. On 45 minutes, Mike Girling tells me he owes us as he picks the ball up and wins the tie.
This is what mercurial footballers do. It is in the job description. They get to do your head in. They get to do that to you. Because they go on and give you this.
This is standing the full back up. This is waltzing around him. This is looking at a great goalkeeper being too clever and clipping the ball into the enormous space he leaves because he is sure he knows you better than you know yourself.
He doesn’t. He can’t. Because you aren’t predictably great. You are mercurial. Soz abar that.
So stitch that going into half time. Stitch that. You gave us everything you had. You had chances, we had chances. You were perhaps a little bit better. But it is 1-1. Stitch that and come back better.
- Read – Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1: Player ratings
- Read – Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1: Five from Fitzgerald
- Listen – Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1: Immediate post-match reaction
They couldn’t. They just couldn’t. United wanted to go toe to toe with Jürgen’s Klopp’s mighty boys in Red just that smidgeon too late. They came off emphatically second best.
Both of Liverpool’s central defenders were excellent. The centre midfielders good enough out of possession to allow flaws in possession. By the hour mark the game belonged to one of England’s two great clubs. By the hour mark the 180 minutes belonged to the Reds of Liverpool.
When you were lying awake last night this was the last 20 you wanted. The travelling Reds lording it. The travelling Reds calling it. Only half a football team. Compared to. The boys in. Red.
To call Manchester United abject ignores their first half and lessens Liverpool’s 180-minute achievement. Privately, if you spoke to any of those United players they would tell you they’ve been bettered. They’d tell you it wasn’t their fault. Bar the goalkeeper across the pitch they find themselves half a yard short of what is required to be Manchester United.
Teenagers can lash bedsheets on motorway bridges. They don’t represent Manchester United. Manchester United are the second club of England. They will always deserve respect. They are good lads, their city is a good city, a great city, a world city.
Liverpool are the first club. And Liverpool need to know that and need to walk that walk. This is only step one. We are the first club. Everyone knows it bar United. That’s why they will always be worthy of your respect. Forget bedsheets and chants. They will come again. They always will. What would be the point of them otherwise? Yin needs yang.
No matter for tonight, they have been vanquished and, for 45 minutes, with a minimum of fuss. Liverpool normally find drama. Football normally finds drama. There was none.
Everyone did their job. Just did their job. Functioned.
There was no drama. There was the mighty boys in Red. There was half a football team.
There was the Reds.
Just show *them* the way to go home.
We won’t be going home. We’re not tired. We’ll go and have a disco.
Up the Reds you compare yourself to.
What a set of lads they are.
Up the last eight Reds.